Finding your niche can be hard for any hopeful young artist in the music industry, although Portsmouth-based singer-songwriter Jerry Williams has carved her place out with passion and pride from the very beginning and is taking everything that comes her in her more than capable stride.
The young musician’s sound flits between bittersweet pop and hooky indie and has already seen her amass a large amount of listeners in a relatively short space of time. “I’d say my sound is quite eclectic, I like fitting the music around the song and the story, it’s quite indie-pop and guitary, quite summery and youthful, but some of the songs are more stripped-back and acoustic.”
Songs that tell a story often go down quite well with listeners, although Williams gets it right on two counts; relatability and intriguing music videos. She explains: “I never think I’m going to be relatable intentionally, I just sort of write songs that I feel like writing. I can’t physically write something that I don’t feel or hasn’t happened to me and I know I love listening to songs where there’s a real story behind it.”
Perhaps this is the reason why the musician’s music videos strike a chord with fans too. The accompanying videos for tracks like ‘Boy Oh Boy’ and ‘I’m Not In Love With You’ take you on a journey and tells a tale and it often doesn’t take much guessing to work out what’s going on. Williams prides herself on her videos and her passion for making them is infectious. “A lot of the songs from when I was younger talked about the same person, so it was quite hard to make different videos about the same thing, but now I’m really into that and making stories.
“I’ve been really proud of my videos so far and they’ve been really low-budget but everyone’s been helping, so I’ve been lucky like that. If I had all of the money in the world to make a video, I’m sure I would have pyrotechnics and confetti everywhere.”
‘Boy Oh Boy’, in particular, is one of Williams’ older but one of her sassiest bops to date. When asked if she’d like to make more music like this in the future, she contemplates her answer before replying: “Yeah, it depends what happens in the future. That song was written about a conversation I had with a friend about boys – I was so young when I wrote it! It was about a boy that I sort of loved but really hated at the same time, I’m sure a lot of girls have felt like that.”
The artist’s recent single, ‘Babe’, really stands apart from the rest. Steeped in emotion and meaning, the new cut allowed Williams to strip her sound back to basics. “I wrote that in January this year when I was really confused about my life and things that were going on.
“One of my family friends passed away last year and I was thinking about that and for a month or so I was thinking about was life is all about. Then, I wrote this song one night and I was quite upset when I wrote it but it was a really great release of feelings. It’s just about not knowing what to say and not knowing what’s going on. It’s only a short one but I was really proud because I wrote and produced it all by myself in my room.”
Williams took responsibility for production duties on ‘Babe’, however Dan Brown is the man usually assisting with the production of Williams’ tracks and she couldn’t gush over his talents more. “Dan’s so lovely to work with. I love going to Bristol, it’s so relaxed doing it in his attic and we just get on so well. He lets me be creative and just who I want to be and when we’re together we’re quite experimental, so I love working with him.”
In terms of the not too distant future, Jerry Williams has a whole host of plans lined up. Later this month, she will play Portsmouth’s Victorious Festival and it’s a major highlight of the musician’s calendar. “Everytime Victorious Festival comes around it’s like Christmas! I get a new outfit and get ready for it. It’s nice that they’re still supporting local artists, as the event is getting bigger and bigger.”
All festivals aside, there’s a lot of recording to be done for the artist. “I think we’re looking to do an album next year, so I’m currently writing a bit for that and I’ve got songs in the can that just need to be recorded. I’ve also got a few more shows like Victorious and hopefully a headline tour in October.”
With so much going on, the swell of chatter and momentum surrounding Jerry Williams is unlikely to die down anytime soon. Remember her name; she’s a star in the making.
Photo by Phoebe Fox (Shotbyphox)
Words by Lauren Wade